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Top 10 Best Mark Wahlberg Performances

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. You may still call him Marky Mark, but he’s come a long way since then. From roles as a teen junky, to parts as a psychotic stalker, to characters that are only out for vengeance, Mark Wahlberg has shown he’s got far more range than you might expect for a guy who started out as a rapper and Calvin Klein model. In this video, counts down our picks for Mark Wahlberg’s top 10 performances. Special thanks to our users offbeat08, Andrew A. Dennison, JADgaming-J, Leo Logan and Mohammed Al-hooti for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Mark Wahlberg Performances

You may still call him Marky Mark, but he’s come a long way since then. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Mark Wahlberg performances.

#10: Bobby Mercer
“Four Brothers” (2005)

This movie is full of action, as Wahlberg plays the oldest of four adopted kids who want revenge after their mother’s murder. Wahlberg is in your face, and explosive as a man willing to do whatever it takes to avenge her slaying. His chemistry and ease with the other guys makes it almost believable that they grew up in the same house. He’s the bright spot and most memorable part of this ultra-violent vigilante flick.

#9: Mickey
“The Basketball Diaries” (1995)

From Calvin Klein model to teenage junkie, Wahlberg plays one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s basketball team members and fellow addicts in one of his first gritty roles. But, he also adds lightness to the film, balancing DiCaprio’s tortured nature by talking him into doing dumb stuff. An unexpected role for Wahlberg at the time, it proved to critics that he possessed actual acting skills underneath all those muscles and gave us an early taste of his range.

#8: Vince Papale
“Invincible” (2006)

This is the perfect underdog story, as Wahlberg portrays true-life 30-year-old bartender-turned-Philadelphia Eagles football player, Vince Papale. He manages to make us feel as if Papale was the guy we all knew growing up, and we wanted to see him succeed just because he was so damn likable and determined. The overall movie is just so-so but Wahlberg’s performance is one of his most personal.

#7: Charlie Croker
“The Italian Job” (2003)

As the head of a team of thieves, Wahlberg shows he can play both a “thinking” character as well as an action star. Charlie Croker’s revenge fantasy against a former friend and double-crosser drives the film’s plot; but it’s Wahlberg’s easy on-screen demeanor and leadership among the chaos that keeps shine through most. The movie is one of Wahlberg’s highest grossing films to date and it’s easy to see why.

#6: John Bennett
“Ted” (2012)

“Ted” is one of those movies with a completely ridiculous plot but somehow Wahlberg makes it work! Who else could take a character that talks to a teddy bear, works a dead-end job, and is a perpetual man-boy and make him appealing? Playing straight man to Seth MacFarlane’s cuddly cusser, it’s Wahlberg’s best comedic role to date as he takes an immature subject matter and makes it for adults only.

#5: David McCall
“Fear” (1996)

Here’s a young Wahlberg at his finest – and creepiest – as Reese Witherspoon’s obsessive, older boyfriend. While this flick has the plot of a Lifetime movie, Mark’s balance of crazy and caring are anything but made-for-TV – he even kills the family dog! This character seems so far from Wahlberg’s personality, which makes it that more interesting – and chilling – to watch.

#4: SFC Troy Barlow
“Three Kings” (1999)

Wahlberg’s turn as this soldier is one of his best-regarded roles of his career. And why not? He’s the heart and soul of the film. Playing one of three members of the armed forces involved with a gold heist in Iraq following the Gulf War, Wahlberg has several memorable on-screen moments; but the most powerful comes when he’s being tortured. He realistically acts like a seasoned vet would, as his character is forced to do unspeakable acts.

#3: Micky Ward
“The Fighter” (2010)

Playing characters based on real people is tough; but it didn’t faze Wahlberg as he portrayed boxer Micky Ward. To achieve realism, Wahlberg trained for over four years to get a boxer’s build, and did his own stunts to add to the authenticity. His dedication paid off, and Wahlberg gave an emotionally raw and action-packed performance. He didn’t win an Oscar like his two supporting actors, but he was the film’s heart.

#2: SSgt Sean Dignam
“The Departed” (2006)

Even though it’s only a supporting part, Wahlberg’s turn as Sergeant Dignam is one of the most commanding roles he’s taken. His no-nonsense approach and in-charge demeanor make a lasting impression for the brief moments he is on-screen. His ability to switch back and forth between comedic and dramatic roles has only improved over the years, and this movie perfectly showcases how much he’s matured as an actor.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Tommy Corn “I Heart Huckabees” (2004)
- Melvin Smiley “The Big Hit” (1998)
- Joshua Peters “The Truth About Charlie” (2002)
- Det. Terry Hoitz “The Other Guys” (2010)
- GySgt Bob Lee Swagger “The Shooter” (2007)

#1: Eddie Adams aka Dirk Diggler
“Boogie Nights” (1997)

Only Wahlberg has the personality and acting chops to take on a role of a porn star who’s at once funny, vulnerable and sexy. As Dirk Diggler, an average guy with a not-so-average package, Mark is convincing as an innocent sucked into the world of sex. This truly is Wahlberg’s breakout movie, as he’s often cited as the film’s bright spot in a role that’s shocking, comical, sad and sex-fuelled all at the same time.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Mark Wahlberg performance? For more memorable Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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